« PreviousContinue »
He stopp'd with filence, walk'd with trembling heart,
And much he wifh'd, but durft not ask to part :
Murm'ring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard, That generous actions meet a base reward. While thus they pafs, the fun his glory fhrouds,
The changing fkies hang out their fable clouds;
A found in air prefag'd approaching rain, And beafts to covert fcud a-crofs the plain. Warn'd by the figns, the wand'ring pair re
To feek for fhelter at a neighb'ring feat. 'Twas built with turrets, on a rifing ground, And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and fevere,
As near the mifer's heavy doors they drew, Fierce rifing gufts with fudden fury blew; The nimble light'ning mix'd with show'rs began,
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunder ran. Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain,
Driv'n by the wind, and batter'd by the rain. At length fome pity warm'd the master's
('Twas then, his threshold first receiv'd a gueft),
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous
And half he welcomes in the shivering pair;
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls, And nature's fervor thro' their limbs recals: Bread of the coarfeft fort, with eager wine, (Each hardly granted) ferv'd them both to dine;
And when the tempeft first appear'd to cease, A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With ftill remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd,
In one fo rich, a Life so poor and rude;
In ev'ry fettling feature of his face!
That cup, the gen'rous landlord own'd before,
And paid profufely with the precious bowl
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly, The fun emerging opes an azure sky; A fresher green the fmelling leaves difplay, And glitt'ring as they tremble, chear the day: The weather courts them from the poor re
And the glad mafter bolts the wary gate.
While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bofom wrought,
With all the travel of uncertain thought; His partner's acts without their caufe appear, 'Twas there a vice, and feem'd a madness
Detesting that, and pitying this he goes,
Now night's dim fhades again involve the
Again the wand'rers want a place to ly,
The courteous mafter hears, and thus replies:
Without a vain, without a grudging heart, To him who gives us all, I yield a part; From him you come, for him accept it here, A frank and fober, more than coftly cheer. He fpoke, and bid the welcome table fpread, Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed, When the grave houshold round his hall repair,
Warn'd by a bell, and clofe the hours with pray'r.
At length the world renew'd by calm repofe
Was ftrong for toil, the dappled morn arose; Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept,Near the clos'd cradle where an infant flept. And writh'd his neck: the landlord's little
O ftrange return.! grew black, and gafp'd, and dy'd.
Horror of horrors! what! his only fon! How look'd our Hermit when the fact was done?
Not hell, tho' hell's black jaws in funder part, And breathe blue fire, could more affault his heart.
Confus'd, and ftruck with filence at the deed,
He flies, but trembling fails to fly with fpeed: His fteps the youth purfues; the country lay Perplex'd with roads; a fervant, fhow'd the
A river crofs'd the path; the paffage o'er
The youth who feem'd to watch a time to fin,
Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him
Plunging he falls, and rifing lifts his head, Then flashing turns, and finks among the dead.
Wild, fparkling rage inflames the father's
He burfts the bands of fear, and madly cries, Detefted wretch. But fcarce his fpeech
When the ftrange partner feem'd no longer
His youthful face grew more ferenely fweet; His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair; Celestial odours breathe thro' purpled air; And wings, whofe colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back their gradual plumes difplay.
The form etherial bursts upon his fight,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wift not what to do;
In fweet memorial rife before the throne:
And force an angel down to calm thy mind;
And let thefe fcruples be no longer thine. The Maker juftly claims, that world he made,
In this the right of providence is laid;
The pow'r exerts his attributes on high;
Than those which lately ftruck thy wond'ring
Yet taught by these, confess th' Almighty juft,